As the world mourned the loss of the Duke of Edinburgh, news broke that one royal family member won’t be at his wake. Meghan Markle won’t be at Prince Philip’s funeral, and she had mixed feelings over her absence.
Buckingham Palace confirmed on April 9, 2021, that Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, had died at the age of 99. “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
The Queen and Prince Philip, who wed on November 20, 1947, were married for almost 74 years. The couple share four children: Prince Charles, 72, Princess Anne, 70, Prince Andrew, 61, and Prince Edward, 57. In a post on the Royal Family’s Instagram account on April 10, the Queen paid tribute to her late husband with a quote from their golden wedding anniversary in 1997. “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know,” the quote read.
Prince Philip’s funeral is set for April 17 at 3 p.m. The service, which will be televised, will take place at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and will include a moment of silence, as well as a Ceremonial Procession inside Windsor. Though many royal family members plan to attend, including Prince William, Kate Middleton, Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice and Prince Harry, the Duchess of Sussex is among the only royals who won’t be there. Ahead, read about why Meghan Markle won’t be at Prince Philip’s funeral and her feelings about missing the service amid “tension” with the royal family.
Why Meghan Markle won’t attend Prince Philip’s funeral
Though Prince Harry arrived in London on April 12 to quarantine before Prince Philip’s funeral, his wife, Meghan Markle, will not be in attendance. A representative for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed on April 10 that Meghan won’t attend Prince Philip’s funeral because she’s too far along in her pregnancy with her and Harry’s second child to fly.
“The Duke of Sussex is planning to attend,” the representative said. “The Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her physician not to travel. So the duke will be attending.”
A source told E! News on April 13 that Meghan “wishes” she could attend Prince Philip’s funeral despite her and Harry’s “tension” with the royal family. “Meghan wishes she could have flown to the U.K. to support her husband but has been advised not to due to her pregnancy,” the insider said. “She would have put all the family tension aside to be there with Harry.” The source also claimed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex “are still not on amazing terms with the family.”
As royal followers know, Prince Philip’s funeral comes a month after Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they accused the royal family and Buckingham Palace of mistreatment. “Look, I was really ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he has suffered, but I knew that if I didn’t say it, then I would do it,” Meghan said of her suicidal thoughts while in the royal family. “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.”
The Queen’s reaction
A source told People on April 13 that the Queen has no ill will toward Meghan because she can’t attend Prince Philip’s funeral. “Meghan expressed condolences. The Queen understands why she can’t travel at the moment,” the insider said. The source also revealed that Meghan and Harry “wee in contact with the Queen” after Philip’s death and they explained to her why Meghan couldn’t attend. “It was always a given that Harry would return to England for his grandfather’s passing,” the insider said.
Prince Harry’s reaction
Along with Meghan’s physician, Harry also “advised” Meghan not to fly to London for Prince Philip’s funeral due to her pregnancy, according to E! News. The source also claimed that Harry didn’t want Meghan to attend the funeral because of the “stressful” environment she would be in with the royals. “Harry wants to make sure Meghan and the baby are healthy and not involved in stressful situations,” the source said. “They have been focused on their new roots in Montecito and the pregnancy.”
For more about Prince Philip’s life, check out Ingrid Seward’s biography about the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip Revealed, Seward, a Majesty magazine editor who has been covering the British royal family for decades for, unravels the “enigma” that we know as Prince Philip. From his early childhood in Paris to his mother’s battle with schizophrenia to his military service in World War II, Seward covers topics that many royal followers may not know about or haven’t seen on The Crown. The book also discusses how Prince Philip was “initially distrusted” by the royal court before he found his place in Buckingham Palace.
Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.